Years ago, my Christmas decorations were neatly placed, angled in all the right directions and color coordinated to the detail. Sophisticated white lights prevailed, Christmas china was used only for special occasions, and precious nativity sets were placed high on shelves to keep from being broken by little curious, fumbling fingers.
But somewhere in my parenting journey, God graciously taught me – through my children – that life is meant to be lived. Touched. Enjoyed. So now our Christmas ornaments hang a bit off balance (but are placed with a whole lot of excitement and love), fun colored lights fill our home, and I try to say yes as often as I can to frequent tea party requests… using real china, of course.
And those nativity sets? They have become more precious than ever. Not half-forgotten up on some shelf, but adored in the hands of my sweet, imaginative four year old.
With the nativity pieces now within reach, Baby Jesus and Tess have had quite an adventurous week! There have been rides in the Barbie car, and trips to the grocery store. Baby Jesus has visited with Dora and all of Tess’s favorite baby dolls, and He even rode in an elevator (aka a tall pedestal candle) several times today. Baby Jesus has kept Tess company at the lunch table and in the potty. He’s been swaddled in a wash cloth, and bathed in the bathroom sink.
But the moment that I can’t get out of my head is when I caught Tess in the corner of our living room, snuggling Baby Jesus with much affection. When I sneaked in closer to see what she was doing, I could hear her singing softly…
“Thank you, Baby Jesus, for being bor-or-orn. Thank you, Baby Jesus, for saving the world.
Baby Jesus, I… love… You…”
Humbled and instantly brought to tears, God knew just the reminder that I needed to hear that day.
God loves beyond comprehension, and that love is worthy of our response.
These days are busy. Life gets full and complicated. And if I’m not careful, I’ll go through this season fully aware of God’s tangible love for me through the gift of Jesus, yet will forget to bow down and whisper my love response back into Jesus’s ear:
“I praise You.”
“I love You.”
“I adore You.”
I tucked my spunky four year old into bed tonight, and instead of her regular bedtime song, she requested that I sing her a song about “Baby Jesus coming to save the world.” Fully aware of several carols I could sing, I chose instead to take Tess’s lead and make up my own love song – not from any hymnal or jumbo-tron – but this time from my heart. I closed my eyes, held her hand, and sung softly into her ear as I worshiped…
“Thank you, Jesus…”
“I praise You, Jesus…”
“I love You, Jesus…”
“I adore You, Jesus…”
“Thank you, Baby Jesus, for coming to save the world…”
My love response. Well overdue.
You see, God wants ALL of me… not my leftovers after I’ve served on my own strength, not my rushed minutes after I’ve made everything else a priority before Him, not just my selfish prayers after nothing I’ve tried has worked. Oh Father, thank you for pouring out your great love towards me, and help me to reciprocate a love that is worthy of all that You are!
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” ~Mark 12:30
At His feet,
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